Throughout human history, no animal has wreaked more havoc on human populations than the lowly mosquito. Mosquitos spread disease to about 700 million people annually. Female mosquitos inject saliva into humans as they suck out blood to feed their eggs, transmitting deadly viruses like malaria, West Nile, yellow fever, Zika, dengue fever and more, not to mention the itching and discomfort their bites inflict even when not harmful.
That’s why it is so important to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites. A few simple steps can radically reduce the number of bites you will endure this spring and summer when mosquitos are most active.
1. Remove Standing Water From Around Your Home
“Mosquitos require half a bottle cap’s worth of water to lay eggs, so you must eliminate standing water around your house,” says Janelle Iaccino, marketing director for Franklin Pest Solutions. Overturn buckets, remove toys, shake out the grill cover and attend to any other locations where water might collect.
If you have a birdbath or other water feature, replace the water every day. Artificial ponds and lakes should be equipped with a fountain or some other device to keep the water moving.
Have you ever noticed that there are no mosquitos at Disney World? That’s because all the water in the park is flowing, buildings are designed for water to flow off them and ponds are filled with mosquito-eating fish, all in service of mosquito reduction.
2. Check for Those Other Hiding Spots
Mosquitos love to breed in piles of debris, leaf-filled gutters and thick brush that hold water long after the rains. Cleaning out your gutters, of all things, reduces mosquito breeding, as does clearing debris.
In this sense, a couple hours of prevention - making it difficult for mosquitos to reproduce - is worth multiple seasons of enjoyment in your yard.
3. Protect Yourself with Repellant
Even after you’ve done everything you can on your own to manage the breeding of these biting pests, you still need to protect yourself and your family. N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET, has been demonstrated to be the most effective repellant, even for babies as young as two months. Apply every four-to-six hours on your skin and clothes, and over sunscreen. Don’t spray it in your eyes.
“If you’re still concerned about DEET, try oil of lemon eucalyptus, which has been deemed safe and effective by the National Pest Management Association,” says Iaccino. It also needs to be applied periodically.
Other repellants, like citronella candles, have a range of two feet. “If citronella is on a table you’re sitting around, your ankles aren’t protected,” says Iaccino.
4. Do Research When Traveling
Leaving the U.S.? Research virus advisories for the countries you plan to visit. For example, the Chikungunya virus is not an issue in North America, but it’s spread by mosquitos in Africa. It is important to make sure you are aware of international health issues related to mosquitos and the diseases they carry.
5. For Best Results, Hire a Professional
A professional pest control company can identify mosquito breeding havens you overlooked and determine a plan of action. Professionals should be licensed for mosquito control and employ products safe for children and pets that are still 85 percent effective against mosquitos. Franklin Pest Solutions protects their clients every month during the mosquito season to maintain a healthy environment – for humans and pets.
Since 1929, Franklin Pest Solutions has been trusted in the Midwest to keep homes and businesses free from insects, rodents and more. They use cutting-edge technology, environmentally friendly methodology, and personalized, unique solutions. They guarantee reliable, honest pest-control service from their customer care team and service technicians. Visit them at FranklinPestSolutions.com or call 1-800-GOT-PESTS?.